Looking for epic Laguna Beach photo spots? From beaches, views, murals, historical landmarks, and more, keep on reading for the best Laguna Beach Instagram spots!
Gorgeous coastal views. Blue waters. Vibrant public art. Unique historical landmarks. There are so many amazing Laguna Beach photo spots all over town!
Laguna Beach is one of Orange County’s most popular destinations, as well as where you’ll find some of its most iconic experiences. You’ll find a bit of everything here – from pristine beaches, quirky landmarks, an array of outdoor activities, an artsy vibe, and trendy spots.
It’s such a beautiful, unique city and you’ll find plenty of amazing Laguna Beach photography spots – seriously, there is so much to capture here! There’s everything from epic coastal landscapes, colorful murals, and lush greenery. Seriously, you won’t be able to put your camera down while you wander around the city.
While you’ll find plenty of photogenic places in nearby Los Angeles, or other cities in Orange County (such as in Costa Mesa, San Clemente, or San Juan Capistrano), Laguna Beach has its own unique vibe and is worth exploring with your camera on its own!
Whether you are looking for the best places to get some amazing vacation photos, or some epic Laguna Beach engagement photos, you’ve come to the right place! While the entire city is photogenic, some spots are more Instagram-worthy than others. Keep on reading for all the best Laguna Beach photo spots!
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The Best Laguna Beach Photo Spots
Heisler Park is a beautiful oceanfront park that stretches on the bluffs between Main Beach and Diver’s Cove. It is also one of the best Laguna Beach photography spots because of its stunning coastal views, lush greenery, and public art.
Seriously guys, this is one of the most beautiful places in Orange County, and it’s one of the best Laguna Beach Instagram spots because it’s got it all! The scenery is jaw-dropping here, with views of the bluffs and the crystal clear waters.
You’ll also find lots of idyllic palm trees, tropical plants, and other greenery that totally adds to its beauty. There’s also a beautiful gazebo, as well as numerous sculptures and other public art pieces.
It’s so beautiful, the views are so epic, the water is so blue, and the greenery is so lush here that it almost seems like you’ve transported yourself to Hawaii, which is why Heisler Park is one of the best Laguna Beach photo spots.
Honestly, every time I’m here I can’t help but keep snapping away because it is such a photogenic place. But, one of my favorite spots here is the stairway that leads to Rockpile Beach. The lines of the stairs, the view of the beach, and the palm trees are all perfectly situated to make the perfect photo, making this one of the best Laguna Beach picture spots!
While Heisler Park is beautiful at any time of the day, it is especially gorgeous during golden hour and at sunset. This is also the perfect place and time to shoot some amazing Laguna Beach engagement photos!
Address: 375 Cliff Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Third Street Stairs
I love myself a good staircase (there are so many Instagram-worthy ones in San Francisco), so I was super excited when I found out that these colorful stairs were in Laguna Beach!
Tucked into a quiet (but hilly) neighborhood just a few blocks from the bustling downtown area, these colorful stairs were commissioned by Tammie Arnold and Mark Porterfield, and painted by Beau Stanton, an alumnus of Laguna College of Art + Design.
These stairs feature a colorful geometric design painted onto 70 steps. The design is meant to commemorate Stanley Alexander, a beloved local resident who had recently passed away, and was known for his cheerful and playful demeanor, and who often gave back to the community.
The steps are on a quiet street, so you can pretty much visit it any time of day. There’s also some pretty greenery that frames it, as well as palm trees in the background, making this one of the top Laguna Beach photo spots! There are so many possibilities for photographing it, from sitting on it, to standing, to climbing up the steps.
Address: Mermaid Street & 3rd Street, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Colette Miller Wings
Artist Colette Miller created the Global Wings Project in 2012 to remind humanity that they are all the angels of the earth. What started as one angel wings mural in South Africa turned into a global phenomenon.
Miller has these iconic angel wings painted all over the world (there are tons of them in Los Angeles), and Laguna Beach has its own mural on the side of Slice Pizza on Ocean Avenue.
The best time to shoot here is early in the morning, or later in the afternoon/early evening – the lighting is super harsh midday. I was here around 11am in the morning and the shadows were pretty intense!
Address: 477 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Victoria Beach Pirate Tower
The pirate tower at Victoria Beach is one of Laguna Beach’s most Instagrammable and mysterious landmarks – it looks straight out of a fairytale (you almost feel like you’re going to find a distressed princess up at the top).
As soon as I saw a photo of it on Instagram, I knew I would have to go find it! It still remains one of my absolute favorite places in all of Orange County, because it’s such a unique landmark, and is sort of a hidden gem, as well as one of the best Laguna Beach Instagram spots.
So where exactly is the pirate tower? It is nestled behind a cliff in Victoria Beach. It’s kind of a quest in itself to find it – you’ll have to find a hidden staircase that takes you down to the beach, and then walk around the cliff to find it. Here are the step-by-step directions on exactly how to find the pirate tower.
Be sure to go during low tide – otherwise you might face dangerous conditions or might not be able to access it at all! It is especially beautiful and peaceful early in the morning. It is also one of the most popular places for Laguna Beach engagement photos.
Be sure to also check out the tide pools that are right across from the pirate tower – they’ve got some serious mermaid vibes! I’ve also seen some pretty cool overhead shots that were taken in these pools.
Are you wondering how one of the most unique Laguna Beach photography spots came to be? It was actually originally built to serve as a means of beach access for the family living in the house on top of the cliff.
It became known as the “pirate tower” because the house’s eccentric second owner was known to dress up as a pirate and create sort of a treasure hunt for the local kids. Pretty cool, huh?
Address: 2713 Victoria Dr, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Watercolor floral mural
This watercolor floral mural is one of the prettiest Laguna Beach picture spots. I love the dainty little flowers with a watercolor background. It is in a gradient of pink, orange, and yellow and it’s got a super beautiful ombre look!
I thought this would make a beautiful backdrop for some springtime photos – the florals and colors are perfect!
Address: 311 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Main Beach Lifeguard Tower
The iconic Laguna Beach lifeguard tower is one of the city’s most beloved landmarks – it sits on Main Beach, but it is visible from the Pacific Coast Highway.
It is also one of the most Instagrammable places in Laguna Beach because it is so different from any other lifeguard tower that you’ll find – it is painted white and has a unique hexagonal shape. It almost looks like a medieval fortress than a lifeguard tower!
Like many other Laguna Beach photo spots, the Main Beach lifeguard tower has a story behind it. The tower has sat on Main Beach since the 1920s, and has served as the lifeguard headquarters until the 1980s.
The tower wasn’t always so beloved, however – in the 1970s, the city wanted to demolish it, since it was becoming too small to house the lifeguard force and didn’t want to bother with the upkeep. However, locals petitioned against it and fought to preserve the tower – mostly because it was so photogenic, and was one of the most iconic Laguna Beach photography spots!
Today, the tower serves as a secondary outpost for the lifeguard force, who use it for training viewing, and storage. It still remains one of the most popular Laguna Beach photo spots.
Shooting earlier in the morning will yield you the best lighting, and the least amount of people nearby – there are some benches right in front of the tower. I didn’t get there until around 10am, and not only was the lighting super bright, I had an audience watching me have a little photoshoot, which was kinda embarrassing (but I’m used to it by now).
Address: 105 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
The Laguna Art-a-Fair sits along the arts district on Laguna Canyon Drive, and is one of the most colorful Laguna Beach photo spots.
The colorful building is home to an annual arts festival, which has taken place every summer for over 50 years. During the festival, over 100 award-winning artists and artisan showcase their works, including painting, jewelry, sculpture, photography, fiber art, texture art, and more. It is absolutely worth stopping in if you are around during the festival!
Even while the festival is not taking place, you can snap a photo with the colorful facade of the building, covered with a vibrant rainbow-colored mural. This is the work of Okuda San Miguel, a popular street artist from Spain, who is known for his brightly colored, pop surrealist works.
Take some time to take in all the designs that are painted on the facade – there is so much going on and it truly is a feat for the eyes, making this one of the best Laguna Beach Instagram spots!
There is also another mural by Okuda San Miguel across the parking lot, as well as several other vibrant murals (by other artists) along Laguna Canyon Drive, if you are looking for other Laguna Beach photography spots!
Address: 777 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Crystal Cove State Park
Crystal Cove State Parks sits on the border of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach and is one of the most beautiful and photogenic places in the area. You’ll find an array of opportunities for outdoor activities here – from hiking, biking, tidepooling, and laying out on the beach – but you’ll find that it’s one of the best Laguna Beach picture spots.
You’ll find an endless amount of stunning coastal views here, as well as gorgeous beaches. If you are looking for some photogenic hikes, the Moro Canyon trail is one of my favorites because it has some panoramic views. The Coastal Trail has some amazing views as well.
I also suggest exploring and photographing the Historic District as well. Here, you’ll find some historic beach cottages that are super cute and charming! You can actually book one of the cottages for an overnight stay (it’s been on my bucket list forever), but they sell out super quick!
Even if you aren’t staying overnight, the cottages are a fun backdrop. The Historic District is also one of the best Laguna Beach photo spots for holiday photos, because they have the cutest Christmas tree here – right on the beach! They also put up holiday themed decorations on the main “Crystal Cove” cottage, which is super fun!
Crystal Cove also has some photogenic beaches, which are especially beautiful at golden hour – seriously, this place is magical! It is an especially popular spot for Laguna Beach engagement photos and wedding photos.
I even helped take some wedding portraits for my boyfriend’s brother and sister-in-law and love how they turned out! We walked down to the beach from the historic district, and the ways the golden light hit the waves was absolutely stunning.
Address: 8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
My Camera Gear for Shooting at Laguna Beach Photography Spots
Many of the photos in this post were shot with the Nikon D7000 (which has now been updated to the Nikon D7500). I shot on this trusty camera for years and it has accompanied me on many of my travels!
Recently, I decided to enter the world of mirrorless cameras and purchased the Sony a6000. I am loving it because it is soooo lightweight – so perfect for travel! Sony definitely makes the best mirrorless cameras, and the image quality is excellent.
The vast majority of my photos are shot with the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (for Nikon, Sony). The 28-75mm range covers much of what I need while I’m traveling so I only need one lens. The f2.8 means that it works great in low light and gets amazing bokeh (or that blurred background).
For phone photos:
I actually end up taking a lot of photos with my phone – I currently have the iPhone XR. It definitely shoots excellent images so you’d never know that they were shot on a phone! The newer iPhone 11 has an even better camera, so definitely look into it if you’re due for an upgrade and want to shoot better phone photos!
I love this lightweight tripod, which is cheap, easy to set up, and not super annoying to carry around. I also use this selfie stick tripod to help me take self-portraits on my phone! This is especially handing when trying to get self-portraits at places that don’t allow tripods.
Have you ever been to Laguna Beach? What are some of your favorite Laguna Beach photo spots?
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